Taking Yourself Seriously as a Christian Artist | Matt Tommey

Engage Art | Faith | April 17, 2023

Do you take yourself seriously as a Christian artist? Do you make your creativity a priority, asking yourself, “Is this the year I’m finally going to do that thing I’ve been talking about, or am I going to keep going around the same old bush, doing the same old thing, expecting different results?” 

You know, many artists do just that—talk and wish, but avoid taking action.

I've done that in some seasons too. I would wonder why I was getting the same unsatisfying results, and yet my actions didn't change. It can be frustrating.

That’s not what you want!

I know you want this to be the year you start taking yourself seriously and really embracing everything God has for you as a Christian artist.  Think about it. If everybody wants to take themselves seriously, living the life that God called them to live—that abundance, that incredible creative flow, deeply Kingdom-oriented—then what’s standing in the way? Why aren’t they able to live that life, execute those dreams, and take themselves seriously?

Well, there are several reasons. 

[Left: Interpretation of War by Janelle Bush]

Some Christian Artists Don’t Believe They Can

Maybe they've been told their whole life, “You can't do it; you're not good enough.” This narrative repeats until it becomes a core belief, deeply ingrained, that they just can’t do it

[Left: Daily Battles by Emily Margaret]

Maybe they've tried things, taken a risk, and failed. And maybe that failure has paralyzed them to the point where they find themselves unable to move forward. 

Can you relate?  A lot of Christian artists can.

Some Artists Don’t Think They Are Worthy

Others struggle with another internal roadblock—not believing they're worthy of success. Think about that for a second. Maybe it's the way they grew up, the relationships that they've had, or the experiences they've walked through in their life. Maybe they struggle with a distorted understanding of pride and “proper Christian humility.” It can be any number of things.

Take Away the Noise by Tracie Marsh

The underlying lie might be, “You’re not supposed to succeed. A ‘real Christian’ would let everyone else go first.” Thoughts and fears like these can lead artists to avoid taking credit for well deserved successes—or even feeling guilt for taking joy or pride in creating. These lies can leave people completely paralyzed emotionally, spiritually, and creatively. 

Many Christians Don’t Understand How Change Happens

Artists often misunderstand how change takes root in a person’s life. You know how this often works. We wait, hope, and beg (because that seems spiritual) and then just sit back and tell God, "Okay, you do it. I'm waiting on you." Meanwhile, we take no other action—no art classes, no studio hours, no open mic nights, sharing no work. When, unsurprisingly, success doesn’t come, we switch gears, abandoning prayer, frantically leaning into working, sweating, and striving on our own strength.

A Musical Journey Depicting Strength & Courage in the Midst of Battle, Flute Concerto Performance by Coreisa Lee

You know what, my friend, neither model reflects how the Kingdom works. We align with God’s Kingdom when we embrace who God has called us to be and step out in faith by cooperating and co-laboring with the Holy Spirit. If you have a fundamental misunderstanding about how change happens—that you must either do nothing or do everything—then you're going to be waiting a long time and probably be very frustrated.

It’s Not About You. It’s About the Kingdom.

Finally, many Christian artists struggle with the reality that many people in their family and social circles may not support their artistic ambitions. It might seem like no one understands your passion and drive to create. A lot of artists feel misunderstood and alone in their church, family, and the broader community. They don't know anybody else who understands what it means to be an artist, much less an artist who loves Jesus and is intent upon pursuing the power of the Kingdom in their life. The loneliness can feel overwhelming, stifling, and paralyzing.

But here’s the good news. Taking yourself seriously isn’t about you at all! It’s about what God’s put inside you. It’s about His Kingdom flowing through you. When we take God’s calling and gifting seriously, we find self-acceptance and ever more faith in God’s design weaving through life. You start to see yourself within the divine flow!

Give Ear by Sheena Keesha

Do you want to take God’s calling seriously and tap into the divine creative flow? Do you want to belong to a community of fellow artists who deeply understand you and relate to your identity as an artist of faith? Do you want to pursue EVERYTHING God has for you? 

The great news is that you’re in the right place!  You see, God's got something incredible in store for you. He ordered your steps to be reading this article at this time, and you're here by divine appointment. The only thing you have to do is say “yes” and start walking.


This article was originally published by Matt Tommey in 2020 and is adapted with his permission from https://www.matttommeymentoring.com/. Matt Tommey is an artist, internationally-known Christian speaker, and the author of 7 books who is passionate about helping artists thrive spiritually, artistically and in business. He is a mentor to artists around the world through his Created to Thrive Artist Mentoring Program and also hosts The Thriving Christian Artist Podcast. Find more resources from Matt at https://www.matttommeymentoring.com/

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